Cherries: Overview, Types, Nutritional Profile, Health Benefits, and Preparation


Cherries have good stuff like vitamin C and antioxidants. They might also reduce inflammation, keep your heart healthy, and improve sleep if you eat them as part of a healthy diet. The benefits of cherries can vary based on things like which kind you eat, how many you have, and how often you eat them. For more research you can also visit Healthline.

What are Cherries?

Cherries are small fruits with a hard pit or seed inside. They come in different colors and flavors, usually sweet or sour. Sweet cherries are juicy and not very sour, while sour cherries are tart. In the U.S. most sour cherries are grown in Michigan, while sweet cherries are mainly grown in Washington, California, and Oregon. Cherries grow well in many moderate climates, so they’re available throughout the year. In places like the U.S. cherry trees bloom in April and produce fruits from June to August. In the Southern Hemisphere, cherries are often enjoyed during the winter holidays. Wherever they’re grown, cherries can be a delicious and healthy part of your diet.

What are the Types of Cherries?

This fruit has over 900 varieties, but you likely know only a few. Some of the most common types include:


Bing cherries are among the most popular sweet cherries. They’re dark red and have a crisp, sweet flavor with a hint of acidity. These cherries are great for snacking on fresh.


Rainier cherries are juicy, sweet, and have a golden yellow and red color. They’re a special type of cherry because they’re challenging to grow. You can find them only in late spring through early summer.

Queen Anne:

Queen Anne cherries resemble Rainier cherries in appearance, but they’re more tart. Also known as Royal Ann cherries, they are commonly used to make maraschino cherries.


Black cherries are a sweet variety with dark skin. They’re often used in pies, jellies, sodas, and various other foods.


Maraschino cherries are those bright red, syrupy-sweet cherries you often see on ice cream sundaes and in cocktails. They’re packed with added sugar because they’re preserved for weeks in red food dye, sugar, and bitter almond oil.

Dried Cherries:

Dried cherries are made by removing moisture from cherries, which makes their skin thicker and intensifies their flavor and nutrients. They have a longer shelf life than fresh cherries and are great for baking. They also add flavor to yogurt, granola, salads, and trail mix.

What is the Nutritional Profile of Cherries?

Cherries not only offer health benefits but also provide essential nutrients. Here’s a breakdown of some key nutrients found in sweet cherries, based on information from the United States Department of Agriculture.

  • Calories: 87
  • Carbohydrates: 22 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugars: 18 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9.7 milligrams
  • Vitamin A: 186 (IU)
  • Potassium: 306 milligrams
  • Calcium: 18 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.4 milligrams

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 advise most healthy adults to consume between 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruits daily.

What are the Health Benefits of Cherries?

Cherries are loved by many for their delicious taste and are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that have significant health benefits. Here are some impressive health benefits of cherries. Such as:

Packed with Nutrients:

They are small fruits with pits inside, and they come in various colors and flavors. The main types are tart and sweet cherries, scientifically known as Prunus cerasus L. and Prunus avium L., respectively. Their colors range from yellow to deep blackish-red. Regardless of variety, cherries are loaded with nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For example, one cup (154 grams) of sweet, raw, pitted cherries provides:

  • Calories: 97
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 18% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Copper: 5% of the DV
  • Manganese: 5% of the DV

These nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, offer various health benefits. Vitamin C is crucial for supporting your immune system and keeping your skin healthy. Potassium plays a vital role in muscle function, nerve function, regulating blood pressure, and other essential bodily functions. Cherries are also rich in fiber, which aids in maintaining a healthy digestive system by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements. Moreover, they contain B vitamins, manganese, copper, magnesium, and vitamin K, which contribute to overall health and well-being.

Rich in Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Compounds:

They have many health benefits because they contain lots of plant compounds. The amount of and type of these compounds can be different in each kind of cherry, but all cherries have a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These antioxidants might help fight oxidative stress, which is linked to many long-term diseases and early aging. One review found that eating it reduced inflammation in 11 out of 16 studies and lowered signs of oxidative stress in 8 out of 10 studies. They are also high in polyphenols, plant chemicals that help protect cells, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health. Diets rich in polyphenols may help protect against long-term diseases like heart disease, mental decline, diabetes, and some cancers. They also have carotenoid pigments like beta-carotene and vitamin C, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.

Can Boost Exercise Recovery:

Research shows that the compounds in it that reduce inflammation and act as antioxidants may help with muscle pain, damage, and swelling caused by exercise. Tart cherries and their juice are more effective than sweet cherries, but both can help athletes. Tart cherries and their juice are more effective than sweet cherries, but both can help athletes. Tart cherry juice and concentrate can speed up muscle recovery, reduce muscle pain after exercise and prevent strength loss in elite athletes like cyclists and marathon runners. Some evidence also suggests that cherry products might improve exercise performance. In one study, 27 endurance runners who took 480 mg or powdered tart cherries every day for 10 days before a half-marathon ran 13% faster and had less muscle soreness than those who took a placebo. Most studies on it and exercise involve trained athletes, but tart cherry juice may also help non-athletes. In a study of 20 active women, those who drank 2 ounces (60 ml) of tart cherry juice twice a day for 8 days recovered faster and had less muscle damage and soreness after doing sprint exercises compared to those who took a placebo. These findings are encouraging, but they are based on concentrated cherry products like juice and powder. It’s not clear how many fresh ingredients you would need to eat to get the same effects.

May Benefit Heart Health:

Eating more nutrient-rich fruits like it is a delicious way to protect your heart. Many studies show that diets high in fruits are linked to a lower risk of heart disease. They are especially good for heart health because they are rich in nutrients and compounds like potassium and polyphenol antioxidants. Just 1 cup (154 grams) of sweet, pitted cherries gives you 10% of the daily value (DV) for potassium, a mineral important for heart health. Potassium helps keep your heartbeat regular and removes extra sodium from your body, which helps control blood pressure. Higher potassium intake is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and strokes. They are also rich in strong polyphenol antioxidants like anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins. These can help keep your heart healthy by protecting cells and reducing inflammation. A study of 84,158 people found that higher intakes of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins, were linked to a much lower risk of heart disease over 5 years.

May Improve Symptoms of Arthritis and Gout:

Because it has strong anti-inflammatory effects, they may help reduce symptoms of arthritis and gout. Gout is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid, leading to severe swelling, inflammation, and pain in the joints. Many studies show that it reduces oxidative stress and inflammation by lowering inflammatory proteins, which can help with arthritis symptoms. It also lowers uric acid levels in the body, which is especially helpful for people with gout. One study found that 10 women who ate 2 servings (10 ounces or 280 grams) of sweet it, after fasting overnight had lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) and significantly reduced uric acid levels 5 hours after eating it. Another study with 633 people with gout showed that those who ate fresh cherries for 2 days had 35% fewer gout attacks than those who didn’t eat cherries. The same study found that when people combined eating it with taking the gout medication allopurinol, gout attacks were 75% less likely compared to times when they didn’t eat it or take the medications.

May Improve Sleep Quality:

Eating it or drinking tart cherry juice may help you sleep better. These sleep benefits come from the high amount of plant compounds in it. It is also contain melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. One study with 20 people found that those who drank tart cherry juice concentrate for 7 days had higher melatonin levels and better sleep quality and duration compared to a placebo group. Another study with older adults who had insomnia showed that drinking 1 cup (240 ml) of tart cherry juice before bed increase sleep time by 84 minutes over 2 weeks. However, these studies used concentrated cherry products, so it’s not clear if  eating fresh cherries before bed would have the same effects. More studies are needed to understand how cherries and cherry products can improve sleep.

A Strong Immune System:

Anthocyanins from natural sources may have properties that can kill microbes, like bacteria that cause diseases. Some research suggests that the anthocyanins in cherries might help fight bacteria. This could help the immune system fight off minor illnesses like colds. More research is needed to see if the anthocyanins in cherry juice can benefit the immune system.

Improved Vision:

Anthocyanins, like those found in cherries, may help people with glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition where fluid pressure builds up inside the eye and can cause vision loss. Some research looked at people treated with anthocyanins for glaucoma. Some of them showed better vision after this treatment.

Better Short-term Memory:

A small study from 2017 looked at the benefits of drinking cherry juice for older adults with mild dementia. Those who drank cherry juice every day for 12 weeks showed small improvements in their short-term memory.

Easy to Add to Your Diet:

Both sweet and tart cherries go well with many foods. You can also use related products like dried cherries, cherry powder, and cherry juice in many recipes. Here are some ways to add cherries to your diet:

  • Eat them fresh as a sweet snack.
  • Mix dried it with dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, and salted almonds for a tasty homemade trail mix.
  • Make a cherry compote from frozen tart or sweet cherries and spoon it over yogurt, oatmeal, or chia pudding.
  • Add halved, pitted cherries to a fruit salad.
  • Use dried it in baked goods for natural sweetness.
  • Add a bit of tart cherry juice to sparkling water and top with a lemon wedge for a fun mocktail.
  • Add fresh or cooked it to ice cream, pies, crumbles and other desserts.
  • Make homemade cherry barbecue sauce to use with meat or poultry dishes.
  • Make a cherry salsa with diced cherries and fresh herbs like basil to serve with savory meals.
  • Add frozen cherries to your favorite smoothie.

There are endless ways to use it in your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

How to Prepare Cherries?

You can find it at grocery stores, health food stores, co-ops, and farmers markets. Some farms let you pick your own and pay by the pound. Choose it with bright stems and plump fruit. Darker-colored it usually tastes better. You can enjoy it on their own or add them to your diet in many ways:

  • Make a yogurt parfait with rolled oats and granola and cherries.
  • Blend frozen with banana, yogurt, and milk for a smoothie.
  • Add chopped it to onion, tomato, and jalapeno for a new twist on pico de gallo.
  • Include dried it in your next batch of granola or trail mix.
  • Add a handful of tart cherries to wild rice.
  • Use it instead of blueberries in muffins or raisins in cookies.
  • Mix dried it with quinoa and walnuts for a whole grain salad.


What does cherry mean?

A type of tree or shrub, the rose family (genus Prunus) that produces smooth-skinned fruits. These fruits can be pale yellow, deep red, or blackish, and have a smooth seed inside. Some cherry trees are grown for their fruit, while others are grown for their flowers. Compare sour cherries and sweet cherries.

Is cherry good for men?

It contains anthocyanins and bioflavonoids that reduce inflammation and help relieve migraines. Cherries also boost libido in both men and women. Vitamin A and Vitamin C in it help improve testosterone and estrogen levels, which can increase sexual desire.

Are cherries good for diabetes?

Cherries are a healthy fruit that people with diabetes can safely eat as part of a healthy diet. Cherries have a low glycemic index (GI), which helps regulate blood sugar levels. They are also rich in nutrients recommended for diabetes, such as vitamin C and fiber.

Do cherries increase fertility?

It is concluded that eating Prunus cerasus (sour cherries) improves fertility by increasing progesterone receptors and HAS2 activity in cumulus cells.

What is the healthiest fruit?

Blueberries are considered the healthiest fruit. Their beautiful color comes from anthocyanins, an antioxidant that provides many health benefits. Long-term studies show that eating blueberries regularly may lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Is cherry good for pregnancy?

Yes, eating it is safe during pregnancy. It contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and polyphenols, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The potassium in it helps maintain blood pressure levels during pregnancy.

Do cherries have uric acids?

What about food that lowers uric acid and protects joints? That’s where it helps. Research over many years shows that it reduces the chance of gout attacks, lessen disease severity, and lower uric acid levels, often within a few hours. 

Do cherries help sperm count? 

Incorporating foods high in antioxidants can improve the production environment and lead to better quality sperm by removing harmful by-products of oxidation. Lycopene, a plant chemical found in tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers, is especially promising according to research.

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